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'Kung Fu Panda' dropkicks 'Wall-E' at Annie Awards

January 31, 2009 |  6:05 am

"Kung Fu Panda" shut out all competition, including critical darling "Wall-E," at Friday's Annie Awards, winning 10 categories, including best animated feature. Does this sweep signal trouble for "Wall-E" at the upcoming Oscars?

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Since the Academy Awards introduced a separate award for best animated feature in 2001, the winners of the two prizes have matched up every year except 2006, when "Cars" won the Annie, but "Happy Feet" danced off with the Oscar. And last year's double winner "Ratatouille" was also the clear leader at the Annies, winning nine of its 14 nominations and far outpacing the other two eventual Oscar nominees — "Surf's Up," which won two of 10 nods, and "Persepolis," which went zero for four.

Although film critics ranked "Wall-E" as one of the top-rated movies of the year, those truly in the know about the art of making animation — members of the International Animated Film Society, who bestow the Annie Awards — were far less impressed. Of this year's three Oscar contenders, "Kung Fu Panda" led going into the Annie Awards with 16 nominations to eight for "Wall-E" and five for "Bolt." Numbering triple nods in both character animation and voice acting and double noms in storyboarding and production design among its record tying tally, "Kung Fu Panda" won all 10 categories in which it was competing. And offshoots of "Kung Fu Panda" were also winners at the Annie Awards. The video game claimed an award and TV spinoff "The Secrets of the Furious Five" took four more.

Winners of the Annie Awards were announced at a kudofest at UCLA's Royce Hall. The Annie Awards website has a complete list of winners and nominees.

RELATED POSTS

'Kung Fu Panda' Wins Big at Annie Awards

Will 'Kung Fu Panda' dropkick 'Wall-E' at the Annie Awards?

Photos: DreamWorks, Disney

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Comments

While I can say that it wasn't expected, I was actually not very surprised to hear that Kung Fu Panda swept the Annie Awards... Now you can criticize me all you want, bash my opinions, flame me, etc., but after seeing BOTH films (and that seems to be the catch, doesn't it?) I found KFP much more rich in terms of its abundance of detailed, beatific scenery and well-rounded research into the Chinese culture.

Now don't misjudge me; I found Wall-E to be immensely entertaining and beautiful as well, but the characters just didn't seem to strike me as much as the lineup in KFP did... I still take an immense liking to the lovable fat panda.

But there were other issues in Wall-E that I thought should have been more profoundly addressed, like the concept of Earth being covered in garbage; now THAT ultimately struck me as far out of place. Mass consumerism is one thing, but I'd find Buy N' Large thrusting their over-abundance of garbage into the sun before turning our planet into a virtual dump-heap- It's just too uncharacteristic. (Maybe not so much for the kids in the audience, but certainly those older patrons, such as myself, want a clearer back story)

Kung Fu Panda on the other hand, while I agree that the whole 'be-your-own-hero' routine is getting kind of cliche, had a very straightforward and understandable plot, that at least in my mind, deserves a lot more credit than most people are giving it. And besides, Master Shifu is an adorable little guy that just makes you want to jump out of your seat and squeeze him into an oblivion. Kung Fu Panda kept me interested and fully attentive throughout the entire duration of the film, and although it may not seem to be at first glance, there are a myriad of detailed subplots that older viewers can appreciate (not to mention the one-liners are killer).

So just as an overview:

Wall-E definitely deserves some of the lime-light; it is a comical, sensible, and very detailed film that everyone can agree can go down in the books as one of the most provocative animated movies of all time, and that is why it won a Golden Globe. But in terms of cultural significance, the effort and determination on the producers to insert every facet of anicent Chinese culture, sophisticated animation and nicely rounded comedy, Kung Fu Panda will for (at least now) be my favorite animated feature.

So, a green light at the Academy Awards for Po the Panda...Let DreamWorks take the spotlight for once and let the big kids at Pixar cheer for someone else this year.


While "Wall-E" was a very good movie, it falls in line with every other Pixar film: a kid-safe, parent -friendly drama. "Kung-Fu Panda" has some of the message of a Pixar movie (the most unlikely of people is the greatest, yada, yada) but conveys it through the trappings of a eastern martial arts movie, which gives it a kinetic energy that is different from Pixar fare.

While "Wall-E" was a very good movie, it falls in line with every other Pixar film: a kid-safe, parent -friendly drama. "Kung-Fu Panda" has some of the message of a Pixar movie (the most unlikely of people is the greatest, yada, yada) but conveys it through the trappings of a eastern martial arts movie, which gives it a kinetic energy that is different from Pixar fare.

Kung-Fu Panda is fun and bright but vapidly stupid and instantly forgettable

Wall-E on the other is beyond words

And I don't really care what the asinine Annie asses who call themselves geniuses think

Ok, I love Kung-Fu Panda and all...but come on! There is no contest here. Kung-Fu Panda was incredibly entertaining, and beautifully made--but it's like comparing Mamma Mia! to Dreamgirls, or Pearl Harbor to Saving Private Ryan. Wall-E was a well-constructed, deeply conceived work that could be argued and debated for years to come. How many animated films of that caliber come our way? Wall-E was robbed of a Best Picture nomination--I only hope it's not robbed all together.

No, this doesn't change anything at all. 6 nominations in 6 different categories which includes Original Screenplay pretty much points to a sure win. Along with Ledger, this is the other sure thing on Oscar Night. This is nothing more than a blip on the radar. Even Slumdog Millionaire did not win every single Best Picture award by various film groups to date.

From the wiki page on the Annie Awards:

Unlike most other film industry awards, voting for the Annie Awards is open to the general public, and no prior experience or expert knowledge of animation is required. Ballots may be purchased via an annual membership fee to ASIFA-Hollywood.

Looks like somebody financed the wins. I've seen both, and KP is a fun movie, but it's not even close to being in the same class as Wall-E.

I BEG your pardon. This has got to be political in some obscure fashion. Either that or these blokes are barmy. It is the most absurd decision we have seen this awards season.

It seems as if the majority of the comments dished against Kung-Fu Panda have been sent out by those who haven't seen it. From an animation standpoint, it is beautiful, and there are a multitude of sequences that have an artistic aspect that had been yet unseen in a DreamWorks Animation film-- and it is, by far, DWA best animated film, definitely beating the severely overrated Shrek.

Wall-E is so, so overrated. It raises so many themes but absolutely unequivocally fails to deliver. Issues about our self-indulgence, distruction of the earth's natural environment, and sustainability all went unanswered with some silly, impractical plant. What rubbish! Go The Fat Panda!

The Annie Awards have lost every bit of credibility that they have ever had.

"Those truly in the know about the art of making animation — members of the International Animated Film Society, who bestow the Annie Awards — were far less impressed."

Oh man. So it begins. You give these "members" too much credit.

Don't even bother.

Has anyone viewed the criteria for these awards? I saw both KP and Wall-E (twice) with my kids. Half of KP lingered exhaustingly on one fight/action sequence after another. With its overemphasis on speed-zooms, flying characters, and flat characterization, I thought I was watching anime on steroids. This was at best an up-and-comer formula flick that even lulled one of my kids to sleep. Wall-E contains an original script about a hero far more unlikely and likeable than the panda. And, imagine this, takes the time to allow its non-human lead to both comically and seriously expose his personified vulnerabilities. At the same time, the film prophetically does the same for a culture fattening up on catastrophic consumerism—much of it now haunted by the idea of being homeless. This film speaks to the consciousness of young and old, egg-head and blue-collar. How it is not a Best Film candidate, I don’t know.


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